Kasha Foster works for Bunim/Murray Productions and has been a casting director for many TV shows, including: The Real World, The Scholar, Dancelife, College Hill and The Gamekillers. She travels all over the country with her production ensemble trying to find the right people for these shows. Thousands of people compete to make an impression on her. With that said, it seemed necessary to interview before we got our chance to be remembered.
Kasha Foster: Casting director
What is your official title here today at the audition?
I am a casting director, and I work for a company called Bunim/Murray Productions and they create, or make the Real World.
How long have you been doing this?
I've been doing this for about six years, and about four or five seasons with Real World.
Why is Idaho one of your spots to hold auditions?
We haven't been to Idaho in awhile, so umm ... Idaho is a good place because it has a lot of interesting things. It definitely kind of has that Western vibe, but there is also a city attached. There is a school here, and we get people from the other states in the area and there is also the Basque Community which is interesting.
So what are you guys looking for? I know this is a broad question, but maybe like a Basque then?
(Laughs) Yes, I'm not leaving without a Basque. No, we're looking for the same as we look for every season. We are looking for interesting people, people with a little bit of charisma, and we are looking for people who have an acute curiosity about the world, and a curiosity about other people. Someone who really ... you know ... embraces the experience of being in a new city with complete strangers.
You've said t hat a few times huh? That sounded good.
Yeah, that's my byte.
I was curious if people with neck tattoos get any special kind of treatment when auditioning?
Umm ... neck tattoos—they do fly—and one of our women this year on the show has a sleeve, or almost a sleeve, but no, people think that we're looking for nothing but Barbies and Kens, but absolutely we want everyone to come out. So whether you're all tatted up and crazy, or whether you're clean cut or someone in between.
What about bribes? What is the most you've been offered by somebody?
Actually, disappointingly no one has ever tried to bribe me.
Really? No suitcases full of cash have been slid your way?
No, I mean sometimes people will bring candy—which I do enjoy—that I try and share with the staff of the venue, but it doesn't affect my decision ... so.
Bummer. Last question: Didn't MTV used to ... ahhh ... you know ... didn't they used to play ... ummm ... let's see ... umm ... you know ... didn't they used to play like ... umm ...music videos or something?
What happened to those days?
I don't work directly for MTV on this show—I have in the past—but it is definitely a question of programming at MTV and so far it's above my pay grade ... so I don't know.
Well thanks Kasha we appreciate your time, and hopefully you won't forget us here in Idaho.
Making A Lasting Impression
Prior to covering the real world we decided we would try and make a lasting impression with The Real World crew. Of course auditioning was out of the question for us: we were far too old, and we were there to "work" and get interviews from the countless other people who were serious about the ordeal. So after many extensive interviews, photograph sessions and Arizona Iced Teas, we left The Reef to grab our ace in the hole.
Being prepared for things like this crucial, so days before the audition we prepared our "Protest Sign" which consisted of a shooting target, some cardboard, tape and a marker. The original idea for the sign can be disputed, but regardless, we pulled together and made the mullet man rise. We affixed a piece of cardboard to our prop, which read: "Reality TV is Killing Our Children." Not that any of us really felt this way, nor cared. We just wanted to make people laugh. So at first we stood outside The Reef brandishing the sign (Dylan) for all passersby to gawk at. When that got old we snuck the sign inside the foyer, and having a photographer (James) perched inside upstairs we raised the sign slowly from below the railing on the stairway for all to see. The sign silently rose above the railing and was held high for all to see.
Needless to say, people on the street who walked by initially were laughing hysterically, "Oh my god, that is so awesome" was a common remark, but even better were those priceless looks from people who had no idea The Real World auditions were even being held there. Continuing our quest towards stardom, we brandished the sign above the railing and were greeted with rounds of laughter, more "Oh my god's" and camera flashes. People ran to the railing to look below and gauge for themselves just what the hell was going on. After a minute or so, the gag was played out and we were getting ready to retreat when, lo and behold, guess who popped up with a huge smile on her face? Kasha. Not only did she laugh her ass off, but she also snapped a few photos of us and our sign with her own camera. She was totally psyched, and even instructed her cameraman upstairs to "Shoot that." Mission accomplished. Not only did we leave a lasting impression, but we got a casting director to take our picture.
(Special thanks to Dylan, James, Banzo, The Reef and The Real World staff)